China's revenue from online advertising was higher than the equivalent in newsprint for the first time in 2011, a study by the market research firm iResearch said, quoted in the Global Times Saturday.

Web advertising in the world's second largest economy generated 51.19 billion yuan ($8.11 billion), while newsprint advertising brought in 45.36 billion yuan, iResearch said, a trend it predicted would continue in 2012.

The three largest advertising platform providers last year in terms of revenue, according to Beijing-based iResearch, were Baidu, dominant on the Chinese market, followed by Taobao's e-commerce sites and search engine Google.

At the end of 2011, there were 513 million internet users in China, up by 56 million over one year. Some 194 million made purchases online -- an increase of 20.8%, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

In the third term of 2011, online ad revenue increased by 83.1% compared to the same period in 2010, Analysis International said, reported by state media in November.